16 year-old Gabby Douglas has become an instant sensation after becoming the first African-American woman to win the Women’s All-Around Gymnastics GOLD medal this summer at the London 2012 games. Her mom and siblings have been a constant fixture, by her side throughout it all. Initially, the word came that Gabby’s dad was extremely proud and supporting his daughter from afar while serving in the military in Afghanistan. However, Gabby recently made some startling comments to the press regarding her family situation.
“It was really hard for us growing up – my dad had left us, so he wasn’t really in the picture anymore,” Douglas told the NY Post. “So my mom had to front all these bills. My dad didn’t really pay the child support. He was short [on money]. It was definitely hard on her part, and she had to take care of me and the rest of my siblings.”
Douglas says that even after winning her two gold medals she still has not spoken to her father, Timothy Douglas, an Air Force staff sergeant. Despite her personal struggles she has managed to carry herself as a true champion with great composure, grace, and a beautiful smile. She didn’t manage, however, to secure another gold after taking a nasty tumble off the balance beam the other night and finishing in last place on the uneven bars.
“Toward the end of the Olympics, you get physically tired and drained. And no matter how much rest you have, your body is tired,” Douglas says. “I made a little mistake, but I’m human . . . I don’t know, you just get to mentally, you’re just so tired.”